Monday, May 15, 2017

Getting It Going With Genius Hour

This week we began to explore our ideas for Genius Hour.  On Wednesday, my first class day of the week, I was very convinced that I wanted to somehow genetically engineer something.  I really like genetics, it is definitely my favorite unit, but as I was researching the different materials I would need, and the amount of work that would need to go into it, I started doubting whether or not I would actually be able to do the type of thing I wanted to.  Once I had this realization, I very drastically shifted focus.  I knew I wanted to explore, not so much an experiment, as making something.  I started researching bacterial byproducts, to see if there was anything I could make using bacteria because that would involve life.  Somehow on this escapade through google I landed on cheese.  As I was researching how cheese is made, and how I could directly tie it into life, I started looking into the ingredient rennet in cheese.  Rennet is an essential part of the cheese-making process that contains an enzyme responsible for the coagulation of the milk into curds.  While it is most often obtained from the stomach of lambs, I found several methods to get it from different plants, something that is very doable, and also ties perfectly into life and the study of biology.  So this has become my plan.  Right now, I am working on obtaining the nettle leaves that I will be using to make rennet, as well as figuring out what type of milk I will be using to make the cheese later on.  Overall, I am actually glad that the genetic thing didn't work out, because I am so stoked to make cheese!!

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